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Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s production company Red Chillies Entertainment that churned out hit films like Main Hoon Na  and Om Shanti Om,  is now venturing into television production with a children’s awards show.

Titled Li’l Star Awards Show , the show for kids will be hosted by Shreyas Talpade and Javed Jaffrey.

Child artistes Dheirya Sonecha, Shriya Sharma, Aishwarya Majumdar, Vineet Singh and Amey Pandya are in the judges panel, which is being headed by actress Neetu Singh.

Awards have been divided into 19 categories including best dialogue, best friend and best comedian.

Shah Rukh, Kareena Kapoor and cricketer Yuvraj Singh will perform at the award function.

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Apart from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Ghajini, if there is one film which is trying to grab attention, it is Akshay Kumar’s Jumbo where the superstar has not just lent his voice for the central character of an elephant but also shot for an exclusive music video – Everything Is Gonna Be Alright.

While Percept Picture Company has proudly flashed their association with Akshay Kumar for the film and there have been (reported) talks about him being paid Rs 9 crores to come behind the mike, the production house has chosen to keep the film’s origin as a closely held secret.

Well, the secret which has been unveiled now throws quite some surprise as it is revealed that the animation film Jumbo is neither an Indian product nor has it been made in collaboration with an International animation house. Instead, Percept Picture Company has claimed the rights of a Thai film that goes by the name of Khan Kluay.

Khan Kluay, which was released in 2006, is a Thai computer-animated feature film and is about a baby elephant named Khan Kluay who wanders away from his mother and eventually becomes the war elephant (for whom Akshay Kumar has given the voiceover).

The film has been directed by Kompin Kemgumnird, an animator who has worked on the Disney features such as Atlantis: The Lost Empire & Tarzan and also Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age. The film was in the making for three years and cost $3.9 million.

When released in 2006, the film was the highest grossing Thai film in 2006 with an approximate box-office receipt of 91 million baht. The film has already been released on DVD in the United States with its title as The Blue Elephant. The movie has won numerous awards ever since its release and now looks at making an impression at Indian theaters with Akshay Kumar endorsing its case.

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This year’s two most anticipated releases now have a completely different challenge to meet. Yes, there’s a lot riding on Shah Rukh Khan’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Aamir Khan’s Ghajini.

Hopefully, they will mark an end to the series of lacklustre season in Bollywood. But more significantly, hopefully, they’ll lure back films buffs who have kept away from cinema halls since the Mumbai terror attacks.

Most of Mumbai’s 75-plus multiplexes saw less than 30 per cent occupancy in the last two weeks. And adding to the slump, five Bollywood releases last week none of them capturing the audience’s imaginaiton.

“Audiences are waiting for a good film. Small budget movies therefore are really suffering,” said Devang Sampat, Cinemax Multiplexes.

With multiplexes being among the most susceptible terror targets, people in Mumbai still seem sceptical to step out for a film. But with the two big Khan releases, many say they are actually waiting for something worthwhile to come their way.

While both Khans celebrated a somber Eid on Tuesday, they were also keeping their fingers crossed.

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Akshay Kumar got to do some heady action sequences in Nikhil Advani’s forthcoming From Chandni Chowk To China, but the action hero says fighting with Chinese martial arts master Gordon Liu was the toughest part of the film.

“I have watched 36 Chambers of Shaolin 52 times before doing the film. Doing action for it and fighting with the Chinese masters, particularly Sir Gordon Liu, was the most difficult in the movie,” said Akshay.

Gordon Liu is known for his acts in Hollywood films like the Kill Bill series and the Shaolin series, including 36 Chambers of Shaolin.

In Chandni Chowk to China, Akshay plays a simple cook from Delhi who goes to China to try his luck there. “Getting into the character was not difficult as I have been a cook in my real life, but shooting for the movie has been a difficult experience,” Akshay told reporters at the film’s music release.

“We have shot at the Great Wall of China and shooting there in extreme cold conditions was quite tough,” he said.

The film, which has been shot in China and Bangkok, also stars Deepika Padukone in a double role. “Playing two different characters was quite challenging for me as they are so contrasting in nature,” said Deepika, who played a double role in her debut film Om Shanti Om as well.

“One is an Indian girl with traditional values and the other a Chinese girl, who is bold and sexy and does a lot of action,” she added.

“I had to go for a complete look change for both the roles, which made things quite difficult for me. Besides, doing an action film with someone like Akshay Kumar is quite challenging,” said Deepika.

Also present at the music launch were director Nikhil Advani and actor Ranvir Shorey. Chandni Chowk To China will hit theatres on Jan 16, 2009.

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Actor Hugh Jackman’s adopted son got a chance to act in the movie Australia, but his role got cut out finally.

Jackman claims that he “gave in” to his eight-year-old son’s demands to be in the movie but his scenes were dropped, according to reports.

He said: “I finally relented and said ‘Alright mate, you can be in the movie’, and there’s this one scene that he’s in that took four days to shoot… and he got paid for it. I saw the film for the first time not long ago (and) he’s not even in it. He got cut. There’s a huge wide shot and I’m all prepared (to say), ‘Oh, there you are! Aw, baby, you were great’.”

Now Jackman is convinced that his son will never want to act in another movie: “After four days, he came up to me and goes, ‘Dad, you have the most boring job in the world. I never wanna do it again’.”

Maharathi movie review

December 5, 2008

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Starcast :

Paresh Rawal
Neha Dhupia
Naseeruddin Shah
Om Puri
Boman Irani
Tara Sharma
Vivek Shauq

Movie review:

The comedy-guru Paresh Rawal and the classic-actor Naseeruddin Shah will soon be seen sharing space on-screen. Their movie ‘Maharathi’ is all set for a release this Friday – 5th December 2008. It has been directed by Shivam Nair and will come out under the banner of ‘Shri Ashtavinayak Cine Visions’. The movie starts with Subhash (Paresh Rawal), a con-man who is struggling in the Film Industry for the past 10 years. Committing small time cons on unsuspecting victims, he makes his ends meet.

One night, putting his own life at risk, Subhash saves Mr. Adenwalla (Nasserudin Shah), a man who is filthy rich. As he accompanies Adenwalla to his home, he comes to know of the latter’s wealth and starts expecting a generous tip. Instead, he is kept by Adenwalla as his driver. Mallika Adenwalla (Neha Dhupia), Mr. Adenwalla’s wife, senses that Subhash is trying to take advantage of her husband and resents him for his proximity with the latter. Soon enough, Subhash comes to know of Mallika’s evil plans, against her husband.

Mr Adenwalla, on the other hand, is sick of his greedy wife and decides to put her in a no-win situation, taking revenge. Ungrateful Subhash decides to deceit his employer and joins hands with Mallika, to acquire money and property. Their plan involves getting a caretaker (Tara Sharma) with the help of their family lawyer (Boman Irani). Tara is intended to serve as a witness to the presence of a sick Mr. Adenwalla, in the house. As things go awry, ACP Gokhale (Om Puri) and Inspector Borkar (Vivek Shauq) enter the picture. How Subhash gets caught, but still manages to save himself, forms the crux of the story.

abhishekashAbhishek Bachchan might have worked in quite a few films with his wife Aishwarya Rai but he gets distracted when his dear wife is present. According to reports, Abhi was unable to do a simple stunt scene for his soon to be released Dilli 6  as his wife watched on.

The production unit of Dilli 6 noticed that when Ash dropped in at the film’s sets one day, hubby dear became nervous and was unable to concentrate.

The stunt scene was not tough for anyone who had starred in an action flick like Drona  but oh-so-much in love Abhi just couldn’t do it.

Dilli 6 is a Rakesh Omprakash Mehra film, which has Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor in the lead. Besides them, other stars in the flick are Om Puri, Atul Kulkarni, Divya Dutta, Rishi Kapoor and Tanvi Azmi.

The film is based on the life of the director Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, how he spent his years growing up in the old Delhi neighbourhood of Chandini Chowk. The film is slated for February 13, 2009 release.